To cut down on costs and make their operations more efficient Prince Edward Island potato farmers have started using precision agriculture technology to prevent late blight, according to a news release from the Prince Edward Island Potato Board.
Farmers usually use fungicides throughout the growing season to protect from late blight which can cause millions of dollars in crop losses. Many P.E.I. farmers though have started using precision agriculture technology like localized weather data, monitoring for late blight spores or infection and software that forecasts the risk of infection, to reduce their reliance on fungicides.
By having access to these new data sources, farmers are able to better match fungicide spray schedules to the crop’s needs, making their operations more efficient and helping to cut down on input costs.
Over the past two years there have been no reported cases of late blight in P.E.I. potato fields, by using these decision support tools several farms have been able to reduce their number of fungicide sprays.
Farmers have also been able to use these precision agriculture technologies to monitor for other diseases such as early blight or brown spot, and for insect detection of pests like the Colorado potato beetle and the European corn borer.